Google Productivity Pad: Review: Adobe Reader

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review: Adobe Reader

Name: Adobe Reader
Type: PDF reader
Price: Free
Stars: 4

I have a love hate relationship with Adobe. On the one hand you have great little app like this one I'm reviewing here, you also have industry standard programs like photoshop and indesign. On the other hand you have flash player and adobe reader on your computer that need to update practically every other day and always pop up at the most inconvenient times. Needless to say I had some qualms about downloading this app, but I have really liked it so far.
Why did I need it?
In one of my day jobs I work as researcher for BYU's advanced reading class(Student Dev 305). My job is to take the existing reading on paper strategies and apply to reading electronic text books or articles. Many of these strategies require annotating the text directly. Many college student are required to read PDFs of journal articles. Outside of a very basic stripped document reader built into Safari on the iOS there is no default PDF reader on an iPad. If you have iBooks installed you can read them but not annotate them, which is annoying because annotation works great in Preview on my MacBook. So I downloaded this PDF reader to get the annotation ability.
How to do organization 
Of course this is a productivity blog, so organization is important.The app works like a charm. Some people think it is a little simple, but that is ok for me, students come at all different levels. The nice thing is that it will let you organize folders for you PDFs so you can keep track of them. When you are in the documents view, shown below, click edit in the top right corner and you will find this tool bar. Click the +folder icon (red box) and you can make a new folder, like the "readings" folder shown. To organize your documents select the bubble to the left of each (orange arrow). You can then choose from the toolbar options to the right of the +folder icon: copy, move to folder, rename, or delete.

How to annotate
While reading a document if you tap the screen you will get the tool bar below(yellow box). From left to right they are: Send to the adobe cloud(see my article What is the cloud), change view options, comment and annotate, export, and search (see my article Ctrl F on an iPad).

Selecting the comment and annotate option (voice bubble and pen, green arrow) gives us what we want. The toolbar shown below should appear. There are five tools here from left to right: comment, highlight, strikethrough, underline, add text, freehand (blue circle), and add signature. The up arrow will return you to the main toolbar.

Comment, freehand, and add signature will work on any document you can open in Adobe Reader. Highlight, strikethrough, underline, and add text will only work on a document with OCR text. Freehand (blue circle) is my favorite because you can use it wherever you want and you can change the color and size. 

Well I think that's it for Adobe Reader. It's a good free app, check it out here. If you have any question just leave them in the comments below. Don't forget to share this review if you found it helpful. Click here to tweet, and follow me on twitter by clicking the link on the right side of the page.

That's all for now, and remember, live better.

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